Delaware Dems pick candidate to replace State Rep. Brady, who resigned after racist emails

In this 2014 file photo, then-Wilmington City Councilman Bud Freel is interviewed on WHYY’s ‘First.’ (WHYY)

In this 2014 file photo, then-Wilmington City Councilman Bud Freel is interviewed on WHYY’s ‘First.’ (WHYY)

Former Wilmington City Councilman Bud Freel won the Democratic Party’s nomination to run in next month’s special election to replace State Rep. Gerald Brady. Freel retired from City Council in 2020 after serving 23 years.

Brady officially resigned his seat on Feb. 4 after he was caught sending racist, sexist emails referencing Asian women last year. Brady was also arrested last month on shoplifting charges stemming from two incidents at a Newark grocery store.

Freel was selected by Dems in the 4th Representative District Monday night. He was selected over Adriana Bohm who teaches at Delaware County Community College and is a member of the Red Clay School Board.

The special election to replace Brady will be held Saturday, March 5. In-person early voting will be held at the Carvel State Office Building in downtown Wilmington starting on Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

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Early voting will end Thursday, March 3.

Like all House representatives, Brady’s seat is up for reelection this November. After details of his racist email were revealed last summer, Brady said he would not run for reelection.

His sudden resignation last month comes following months of controversy over his use of racist and sexist language to refer to Asian women in an email he mistakenly sent to an advocate working on solutions to human trafficking. The email was reported by the Wilmington News Journal last summer after someone forwarded it to the newspaper.

His resignation announcement pointed to his years of service with the Delaware Army National Guard including tours of duty in the Middle East which caused him to lose much of his hearing and resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Personal and professional challenges or other traumatic events can exacerbate PTSD,” Brady said in January. “Recognizing the severity of this situation, I am taking steps to address these issues directly.”

The statement did not reference the shoplifting accusations.

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While Freel runs to replace Brady, it won’t give him a leg up in the November election.

That’s because the 4th District, which covers western Wilmington, was eliminated by the redistricting process. Population growth in Sussex County resulted in the 4th District being relocated to Sussex. That means there will be no incumbent in that newly drawn seat for the November election.

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